Last night, Tim Pawlenty continued showing what seems to be some growing concern about losing the Iowa caucuses, telling an audience of Hawkeyes, hopefully and reproachfully.
"Is Iowa going to maintain its leadership place in terms of the wisdom and selection of the candidate who can not just be good that day in Iowa, but can be our party's nominee and can be president of the United States?"
In other words: I'm conservatives' most electable candidate, and if you don't vote for me, your state's credibility is diminished.
Yesterday, an interview with him also aired -- in which he questioned the relevance of the caucuses.
"There's a bunch of people who can do well in Iowa, but aren't gonna win the election, so people gotta factor that in."
A top adviser, Vin Weber, also tried lowering expectations in the state yesterday, telling The Hill that "it's going to be very hard to beat Michele in Iowa. Period."
At the same time that the campaign is working to lower expectations, they're investing more time and energy into the state -- a sign they think they're in trouble. He was the first candidate to go up with TV ads in Iowa (two, in fact), just signed Mike Huckabee's daughter for straw poll outreach, and has sent out some snazzy mailers in the state.